Eva Hesse: Random Texture with Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce on Strathmore Grey Toned Paper – words by Eva Hesse

(Yes, the caption is correct. I used Soy Sauce to write the letters in brown, I’ll explain more about that later.)

The eighth prompt in our calligraphy group was to create something inspired by Eva Hesse. I had never heard of her as an artist so my Google search yielded words like random, texture, and unconventional. I took those words to heart and wrote one of her quotes in three different ways. I prepared the three pieces of paper by adding resist, textural lines, circles, stamps and other random marks. I splattered and ‘flicked’ inks to add more texture. I let them dry then moved forward in writing the main quote.

For the top piece I used a milk bone dog biscuit (my husband had just come home from the grocery store) dipped in soy sauce (we had Chinese food for dinner) to create the big words. I did the same technique for the bottom piece. For the middle piece I dipped into the soy sauce with a nail to create thin letters. The unifying elementS are the three colors – brown, black and white. At first I felt like I was going way off the range, and yet once I let go I had a hard time containing my soy sauce enthusiasm.

How often do we spend our days living within the same lines, the lines we have created and maintain by our daily choices? Suddenly we are challenged to think, reflect and act differently. When we embrace that challenge we can surprise ourselves in the fun we have doing the same daily tasks with a new enthusiasm and flare.

We each struggle to be our genuine selves, living up to the commitments and idea of who we are, yet doing something different does not detract from our genuine selves. Doing something different merely broadens the span of our lives and reminds us that we are a work in progress. We are the same and different everyday, adding texture and unconventional ideas to our day to day lives. Being open to new, different, exciting and unusual will open doors and windows within our souls.

What will you do today that will open doors and windows in your own life? How can you encourage that in others? How can you challenge yourself and those you love to think, act, or work in unconventional ways to broaden their sense of self? My guess is that after this post you will not look at that soy sauce packet in the same way, I know I won’t!

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